A DONEGAL man who was caught driving while serving a 20-year ban has had another three years added to the term and was given a suspended sentence.

Patrick Doherty (37) of Mulberry Avenue, Buncrana, appeared before Buncrana District Court.

On August 27, 2020, Gardaí observed Doherty driving a van at Ardraven, Buncrana. Gardaí made a lawful demand for Doherty to produce his driving licence and insurance documents.

The court heard that in 2006, at Letterkenny Circuit Court, Dohery was given a six-month prison sentence and disqualified for ten years for dangerous driving causing death.

In 2010, at Buncrana Circuit Court, Doherty was caught driving while disqualified and faced a number of charges. On that occasion, he was banned for 20 years and jailed for six months.

Solicitor for Doherty, Mr Frank Dorrian, said the incident in August 2020 was the first time in ten years that his client had driven.

“He was aware of the existence of a very length disqualification as a result of a fatal accident,” Mr Dorrian said.

“The vehicle he was driving belonged to a friend. He went out to get food for them family.”

Mr Dorrian said that Doherty had made enquiries about having his licence restored.

“This was a one-off aberration and it was a very short journey,” Mr Dorrian said. “In the ten years since the disqualification, he was busied himself. He urges me that this was a ‘mistake’ and he has put an absolute road block in the way of any application for restoration.

“He has otherwise behaved excellently since 2010.”

The court heard that Doherty is now in a relationship and is the father of two young children.

Judge Paul Kelly said: “It has been referred to as a mistake but this was a deliberate act for a man who knew that he was disqualified for a lengthy period.

“Even if he made a restoration application, he wouldn’t have been entitled to it.”

Judge Kelly sentenced Doherty to four months imprisonment, suspended for two years on Doherty’s own bond of €500 and on the condition that Doherty is not to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle.

For driving with no insurance, Judge Kelly fined Doherty €200.

Judge Kelly disqualified Doherty from driving for a further three years.


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